Today’s sweet helper is Chloe, assistant to Australian author Teena Raffa-Mulligan.
“Chloe joined our family from a kennel in Victoria about 18 months ago and was so stressed by the flight she bolted the minute we opened the cage at the busy airport carpark,” says Teena.
“There could have been tragic consequences but fortunately she took refuge under one of the parked cars and after about an hour we managed to coax her out and take her home.
“It took time and patience to earn her trust and it was months before she considered every room in the house safe to enter.”
Age: 7 years
Breed (or best guess): Labrador (with anxiety issues and an obsession with toast)
Assistant to: Author Teena Raffa-Mulligan. Teena looks like a responsible adult —it’s a disguise. The real Teena is a kid with a sense of adventure who comes out to play when she’s writing her stories and explores the wonderland of imagination.
Teena’s publications include poems, short stories, picture books, chapter books and MG novels. She has also worked as a journalist and editor. Teena loves sharing her passion for books and writing with people of all ages and encouraging them to write their own stories.
Help or hindrance? Hard to say….
“Recently she’s begun popping into my office occasionally to sit beside my chair while I work,” says Teena. “When she thinks her dinner is overdue, she now comes in and ‘tells’ me, pats me on the leg and nudges me until I get the message and abandon my writing.
“Someday I will have to give Choe her own story.”
Fave toy: “She has no idea what to do with a ball or stick, but will race around the backyard with the man in my life,” says Teena. “Never with me.”
Fave time: Breakfast. “We both have to be in the kitchen or she will go and hassle the latecomer out of bed,” says Teena. “If we are too slow delivering her toast treat, she ‘talks’ to us and dances about until we pop the bread in the toaster.